A weekday visit to the bocce ball courts at Crocker-Amazon Park will transport you back to a time when native-born Italians and Italian-Americans were the dominant ethnic group in San Francisco’s Crocker-Amazon and Excelsior neighborhoods.
The 120-member Bocce Ball Club regularly plays at the public courts where players hold animated conversations in Italian with a few English phrases. The club is open to everyone and is a place where members find community, engage in conversations reminiscing about the past for many growing up in Italy, playing a friendly game of bocce ball or cards and sitting in the warm sun.
“The club is a good place for people to come and gather and meet their friends, have a friendly game of bocce ball and cards and carry on conversations with their comrades,” Club President Louis Tosti, 93, said. “For $15 a year who wouldn’t want to join?”
San Francisco Explored is video series produced by Emma Marie Chiang for The Ingleside-Excelsior Light.